A raucous cheer went up in the Loge Level of Reser Stadium on Sunday evening when Oregon State was selected to play in the 2017 NCAA volleyball tournament.
It's the Beavers' first tournament appearance since 2014, when they advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Pac-12 rival Stanford.
Oregon State (21-11) will face North Carolina State (20-11), from the Atlantic Coast Conference, in Austin, Texas at 2:30 p.m. on Friday in an opening-round matchup. The winner of the match will face either 11th-seeded Texas or Fairfield in the second round.
“This team set a tough goal at the beginning of the season and smashed it,” coach Mark Barnard said. “The confidence they gained from the way they played was evident and especially playing such a youthful team really sets us up for the future.
“It’s seems fitting. We have three starters from Texas and we have been selected to go to Texas. The crowd could certainly help us on Friday.”
Sunday’s announcement comes on the heels of a regular season that saw the Beavers make a nine-win improvement in Barnard’s second season as Oregon State’s head coach.
“I’m really impressed with this group," he said. "They accomplished all this despite two career-ending injuries to players that would have certainly played big roles for us.”
In 2014, the Beavers reached the Sweet 16 behind an offense led by then-freshman Mary-Kate Marshall. It will be OSU’s fourth NCAA appearance overall and Marshall is the lone player on this yar's team to have played in an NCAA tournament match.
Oregon State’s other three NCAA appearances came in 1983, 2001 and 2014.
The Beavers are one of nine Pac-12 teams to make the 64-team tournament field.
Stanford is the No. 3 overall seed and Utah and Oregon State are in that bracket.
USC and UCLA are in a bracket with No. 2 seed Florida, while Oregon, Colorado and Washington State are in the bracket with No. 4 seed Kentucky.
Oregon opens with Kennesaw State in the BYU regional.
Washington is the No. 8 overall seed and is matched in the same bracket as No. 1 seed Penn State.